Kei Kajitani is the Japan general manager of Korea-based VCNC, heading up the company’s efforts to promote their couples app Between here in Japan. After the app’s recent 2.0 release back in December, it appears to have picked up some steam in a number of markets around the world, including Japan where it is has ranked as the top social networking iOS app since Wednesday.
He tells me that since that update they have acquired more than 600,000 new downloads in the span of less than a month. Between was given a featured banner position in the App Store in 94 countries, giving it a great boost in global visibility.
The app surpassed 5 million users last month, with the majority – or about 60% – coming from its home market of Korea, and about 10% in Japan and 10% in China. Kei adds:
[In addition to increased] exposure, our active rate increased significantly due to product improvement. Our average user now stays for 17 minutes per day, where it used to be 10 minutes per day last year around this time.
During Christmas time Between was decorated with a festive Christmas theme (see center image below) and that resulted in many users sharing screenshots of their homescreen, thus letting friends know about the app as well.
In addition to competing with general messaging apps like Line in Japan, Between faces some local competition from Pairy, a Japanese couples app developed by Timers, a startup backed by NTT Docomo Ventures. That company raised 100 million yen (almost $1 million) from a number of Japanese investment firms, including NTT Docomo Ventures.
While VCNC’s user base is still very heavily skewed towards South Korea, the company will continue its overseas push, having raised $2.8 million last January for just that purpose.
The company has a new demo video for their app as well which you can check out below.